Unilateral spatial neglect due to right brain damage (RBD) can occur in several different sensory modalities in the same patient. Previous studies of the association between auditory and visual neglect have yielded conflicting outcomes. Most such studies have compared performance on relatively simple clinical measures of visual neglect, such as target cancellation, with that on more sophisticated measures of auditory perception. This is problematic because such tasks are typically not matched for the cognitive processes they exercise. We overcame this limitation by using equivalent visual and auditory versions of extinction and temporal-order judgment (TOJ) tasks. RBD patients demonstrated lateralized deficits on both visual and auditory tasks when compared with same-aged, healthy controls. Critically, a significant association between the severity of visual and auditory deficits was apparent on the TOJ task but not the extinction task, suggesting that even when task demands are matched across modalities, dissociations between visual and auditory neglect can be apparent. Across the auditory tasks, patients showed more pronounced deficits for verbal stimuli than for non-verbal stimuli. These findings have implications for recent models proposed to explain the role of spatial attention in multimodal perception.
|Pages (from-to)||2631 - 2637|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|